Congratulations to those students who’ve finished off their degree this year. Whether you know what you’re doing next or not, you’ve achieved a milestone that you can carry with you. One that not only says you have an area of mental expertise, but also that you have been taught, hopefully, how to use your own mind to critically evaluate the situations you find yourself confronted with.
With so much information so readily available to us, this is becoming an increasingly crucial skill not only for higher employment, but simply to be able to navigate life in an age where anybody can find themselves a pulpit to say anything to the entire world.
So as you move forward, keep those lessons in mind, the ones that taught you to look below the surface of an issue while not forgetting to look at it in the wider context it stays in. Losing either can easily send you off course, or perhaps even further.
I saw an interesting point made in the show Legion, that I’ve been watching recently. The show presents the idea of how humanity is the only creature where our social reality is just as important as our objective reality. It demonstrates this with the idea of a child who is taught that RED is GREEN, and vice versa. This has disastrous effects when the child is then taught that he should cross the street on the green light. When wrong beliefs confront objective reality, reality will win, and it is rarely merciful. What you think can kill you.
And in a world where conspiracy holes like #pizzagate exist, knowing that, and being able to critically evaluate every piece of information you come across, could be more important than you first realize.
So, my point is, now that you’ve graduated, now is when the hard work starts. No longer will you have tutors or carefully designed course material to help you critically evaluate the situations that they present. You’ll be out in the real world, having to look at everything with a critical eye. It’s important to remember the lessons of your studies. Don’t get lazy and think you understand a situation, especially a contentious one, until you’ve done what you’ve been taught. Depth and context.
No matter what you pursue, if you keep that lesson in mind, you’ll be well on your way to ensuring that you don’t conflict with objective reality, and hopefully be able to lead others along the same path. Because this stuff’s only going to get harder as we move into an era of fake news, deep-fakes, digital (aka deletable) histories, and stronger tendencies toward tribalism to keep ourselves safe from these very threats. Fortunately, you can take heart in the idea that you, at least, have the equipment to navigate it. You just have to use it. I’m sure you will, and congratulations!
Meanwhile, in this week’s issue, we interview AUSU’s new governance advisor, reflect on the destiny of your course choices leading to convocation, one student’s personal support in getting there, as well as music, artist interviews, advice, events, scholarships, and a whole lot more so that you have something to read while you wait for the next set of graduates to be announced. Enjoy the read!